The mission of the Office of Pastoral Care is threefold: Bringing Christ’s compassion to people in emotional, mental, physical, or spiritual need; Advocating for people who have been wounded by the Church by helping to restore hope, faith, and love; Connecting people to the Church and their faith communities.
The Office of Pastoral Care assists and supports victims of priest abuse and also assists pastors and their parishioners navigate difficult and challenging life situations providing pastoral support, mediation, conflict resolution and referrals to appropriate community resources.
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If you or someone you know is the victim of sexual misconduct or abuse by a member of the clergy or anyone ministering on behalf of the Church, we are here to help and listen. As part of our ongoing care for victims of sexual misconduct and abuse, we offer pastoral support and counseling.
We pledge to listen, support, investigate, and follow our policies and procedures outlined by the bishop. Please contact civil authorities and the diocesan Victim Assistance Coordinator.
Victim’s Assistance Coordinator
Phone: (260) 399-1458
Ministry Specialist for Victims Assistance and Safe Environment
Phone: (260) 399-1404
Rev. Mark Gurtner
Phone: (260) 422-4611
Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend Attn: Rev. Mark Gurtner
P.O. Box 390 Fort Wayne, Indiana 46801
Parents have the right to insist their parishes and schools are in compliance with the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People. All parishes and schools should be able to show parents that the clergy, employees, and volunteers who work with children are familiar with the warning signs of offenders, what to do if they have a concern with someone, and how to report suspected abuse. Employees and volunteers who work with children also need to have their backgrounds evaluated so parents can have a reasonable assurance that known offenders are not around their children.
The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops
The Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People is a comprehensive set of procedures established by the USCCB in June 2002 for addressing allegations of sexual abuse of minors by Catholic clergy. The Charter also includes guidelines for reconciliation, healing, accountability, and prevention of future acts of abuse.
The Charter directs action in all the following matters:
• Creating a safe environment for children and young people
• Healing and reconciliation of victims and survivors
• Making a prompt and effective response to allegations
• Cooperating with civil authorities
• Disciplining offenders
Providing for means of accountability for the future to ensure the problem continues to be effectively dealt with through the Secretariat of Child and Youth Protection and the National Review Board.
The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops Resources
Indiana State Requirements: Under Indiana law any individual who has a reason to believe a child is a victim of abuse or neglect has the duty to make a report; therefore, each citizen of Indiana is considered a mandated reporter. Everyone has an important role and responsibility to prevent child abuse and neglect. Children need everyone to stand up for their safety when they may be in harm’s way or when families in crisis or turmoil need support from those close to them. By contacting the Indiana Child Abuse and Neglect Hotline if you suspect a child is a victim of abuse or neglect, you can play your part in protecting a child and/or making it possible for a family in crisis to get the help and support they need.
Indiana Child Abuse and Neglect Hotline
or (800) 276-1562
The Catholic Bishop Abuse Reporting Service has been established to receive reports of sexual abuse and related misconduct by bishops, and to relay those reports to proper Church authorities for investigation. Where a report includes a crime, such as the sexual abuse of a minor, it will also be reported to civil authorities. Otherwise, reports will be kept confidential.
If you have any other kind of complaint about a bishop—such as parish assignments, church closings, or homily contents—please address those directly to your diocesan or eparchial bishop instead. Sexual abuse by a priest, deacon or a staff member or volunteer of the Church should be reported to the office of Victim Assistance in your local diocese/eparchy. So, to be sure you get the help you need, phone numbers and addresses may be found on the diocesan/ eparchial website.
If you are the victim of sexual abuse (or any other crime), please contact local law enforcement.
Catholic Bishop Abuse Reporting Service FAQ
Who is a Metropolitan?
Glossary of Church Terms
Read the Third Party Reporting System announcement
The Black Catholic Advisory Board Vision is to help guide the diocese to seek and propose ways to effectively meet pastoral, social, and cultural issues relating to Catholics of African descent; and to strive for the evangelization of our faith communities, the unchurched, and the broader Church in order to promote unity, pride and understanding in the Church and Community. To learn more and get involved, visit BCABFWSB.org.
St. Augustine Men’s Group
We help men discover and embrace real freedom from the grip of sexual sin by healing and rebuilding their lives through faith, brotherhood, and honesty. You will feel welcomed and supported from the start. By attending our gatherings, men have experienced new life in Christ, a new sense of hope and conviction, stronger marriages, and better relationships with family and friends. And you will too!